How to Make Your Days Run Smoother by Recharging Your Morning Routine
I've been giving some thought to my morning routine after watching Lisa Byrne's first piece in her free video series called Calm, Productive, Upbeat Days for Busy Moms. She says that there are five elements to a great morning routine. I won't give you all of them, because you'll have to watch her video for that. But I will tell you about the steps that took my day from "blah" to "Rah! Rah! Rah!"
My Morning Routine: Before
First thing in the morning when Alex wakes up, I take her into the bed with me to play while The Hubby gets ready for work. While this is a lovely way to start the day, I can't help but admit that our bedstead playtime helps me to delay the inevitable: making my tired-mom self make the move from horizontal to vertical for the day.
Then when it's time for Steve to leave for the office, he carries Alex downstairs while I follow, still wearing my pajamas. I make breakfast for Alex, and here I am starting the day when I'm not even dressed or presentable.
It's not the worst thing in the world, surely, to make breakfast in my PJs. In fact, it's quite comfortable. However, it doesn't give me that feeling of being organized and on top of things when the horses are off and running, while I'm standing in my kitchen wearing what looks like clown pants and a ratty t-shirt.
My Revamped Morning Routine
So today I followed Ms. Byrne's ideas, and I must say, this day is turning out even better than expected. During bedstead playtime, I wrote out my monkey brain rambling pages just to evict some exhausted, scrambled thinking. I believe it went something like, "Oh, I'm so so so tired, how on earth will I get anything done in this state? This is pathetic. Woe is me, blah blah blah."
Then I "Got the Good In" - Byrne's wording, not mine. She says to use whatever inspiration will set you up for great thinking for the whole day. I set my intention for the day by recalling something Lorne Michaels said in his episode of Oprah Presents Master Class about exhaustion being a great tool for the writing process. Of course, he was talking about comedians writing skits for Saturday Night Live, but it applies here.
Lorne said that exhaustion helps produce some of the most authentic, unleashed content. It helps to remove inhibition, and people will be truer and take themselves outside their normal constraints when they ride the wave of exhaustion. Just go with it. This attitude could also take one's parenting from tired to creative, immersed playtime. That's a wonderful positive spin for a mom who is perpetually fatigued and thinks it's not helping.
My Nighttime Routine Helps my Mornings Run Smoother
One part of my old routine I decided to keep: I also reviewed my to-do list, which I had written down last night right before bed. The list consists of writing about a za-zillionty blog posts, among other things.
I showered, then made breakfast while dressed for the day. The babysitter - who had her first full day helping me while I write - arrived. Together we took Alex for her walk. And then, I thought, "Look at me! I'm writing, and it's still morning." Rock on.
What's Your Routine?
Of course, my routine isn't for everybody. I respect Mandy's mornings, which are structured around maximizing sleep. That's a super-smart tactic for any sleepy mommy.
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